India-United India was cold and often thorny. This was

India-United states relations
Origin and nature


India–United States relations (or Indo-American relations) refers to the international
relations that exist between the Republic of
India and the United States of America.

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Prominent leaders of India’s freedom movement had friendly relations
with the United States of America which continued well after independence from
Great Britain in 1947. In 1954, United States of America made Pakistan a
Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) treaty-ally. India cultivated strategic
and military relations with the Soviet Union to
counter Pakistan–United States
relations. In 1961, India became a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement to
avoid involvement in the Cold War power-play between the United States and the
Soviet Union. The Nixon administration’s support for Pakistan during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971affected
relations till the dissolution of the Soviet Union in
1991. In the 1990s, Indian foreign policy adapted
to the unipolar world and
developed closer ties with the United States.


In the 21st century, Indian foreign policy has sought to leverage
India’s strategic autonomy in order to safeguard sovereign rights and promote
national interests within a multi-polar world. Under Presidents Bush and Obama,
the United States has demonstrated accommodation to India’s core national
interests and acknowledged outstanding concerns. A unique feature of this
relation is that U.S. is the world’s oldest constitutional republic, while
India is the world’s largest republic.


Increase in bilateral trade & investment, cooperation on global security matters, inclusion of India in
decision-making on matters of global governance (United Nations Security Council),
upgraded representation in trade & investment forums (World Bank, IMF, APEC), admission
into multilateral export control regimes (Nuclear Suppliers Group, MTCR, Wassenaar Arrangement, Australia Group) and joint-manufacturing through technology
sharing arrangements have become key milestones and a measure of speed and
advancement on the path to closer US-India relations.


 In 2016, India and United States signed the Logistics Exchange
Memorandum of Agreement and India was declared a Major Defense Partner of
the United States.12

According to Gallup’s annual World Affairs survey, India is perceived
by Americans as their 6th favorite nation in the world, with
71% of Americans viewing India favorably in 2015



Points motivated for choosing the topic



The relationships between India in the days of
the British Raj and the US were thin
but still in the 1930s and early 1940s the United States gave very strong
support to the Indian independence movement in defiance of the British Empire.

After Indian independence and until the end of
the Cold War, the relationship between the
US and India was cold and often thorny. This was due to the closeness of the US
towards India’s arch-rival Pakistan during the War, with Pakistan joining the
US-led Western Bloc in 1954. India’s
policy of being not aligned with either the US or
the Soviet Union, but maintaining close ties
with the latter, also impacted relations. American officials perceived India’s
policy of non-alignment negatively.

Following the assassination of Kennedy in 1963, Indo-US relations
deteriorated gradually. While Kennedy’s successor Lyndon Johnson sought to maintain
relations with India to counter Communist China, he also sought to
strengthen ties with Pakistan with the hopes of easing tensions with China and
weakening India’s growing military buildup as well.

In the late 1970s, with the anti-Soviet Janata Party leader Morarji
Desai becoming the Prime Minister, India improved its
relations with the US, now led by Jimmy Carter, despite the latter signing
an order in 1978 barring nuclear material from being exported to India due to
India’s non-proliferation record.

Despite the return of Indira Gandhi to power in 1980,
the relations between the two countries continued to improve gradually,
although India did not support the United States in its role in the Soviet invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. The Reagan Administration provided limited
assistance to India. 




Literature review

1)Ash Narain
Roy, in his article, “Indo-US and India-Russia: Strategic Partners
AH” , has described the India’s growing flirtation with the United States
and its continuing romance with Russia in the post cold war era no longer
surprises any one such is the cold logic of the 21^’ Century global politics
that wearing several hats comes easily to many countries including India. He
says that both the US and Russia consider India to be their natural ally. In
contrast with Washington, Russia accepts India’s 47 pre-eminence in the region
it does not interfere in India’s relationship with its neighbours, much less it
makes China responsible for keeping peace in South Asia.

Ash Narain Roy,
“Indo- US and India- Russia: Strategic Partners All”. Mainstream Dec.
25-31. 2009.

2) India has ratcheted
up the pressure on US diplomats in Delhi as the deadline nears for the
indictment of an Indian envoy in New York charged with visa fraud and
underpaying a maid.Washington has been told that restaurants and other
facilities at the social club in its Delhi embassy will have to close to
non-diplomats and that inquiries into the tax affairs of US staff will be pursued

The Guardian “India cracks down on US embassy club in diplomatic row”.. 8 January 2014.

3)There is a constant attempt by Western, especially American, strategic
analysts and think tanks to disentangle the seemingly complex threads of
India’s foreign policy. The political establishments of the United States and
other major Western powers have lately shifted their policies vis-a-vis India
in an endeavour to draw New Delhi closer to them as part of their ongoing
attempt to re-align the balance in South and South East Asia.

 Indian Express “Retaining India’s Strategic
Autonomy”.  8 September

4)In 1948,
Nehru rejected American suggestions for resolving the Kashmir crisis via third
party mediation. His 1949 tour of the US was “an undiplomatic
disaster” that left bad feelings on both sides.24 India
rejected the American advice that it not recognise the Communist conquest of
China, but it did back the US when it supported the 1950 United Nations
resolution condemning North Korea’s aggression in the Korean War. India tried
to act as a broker to help end that war, and served as a conduit for diplomatic
messages between the US and China

Brands, Inside the Cold War (1991) p 202-5, quote p 204

5)In the first dozen years of Indian independence (1947–1959), the US
provided $1.7 billion in aid, including $931 million in food. The Soviet Union
provided about half as much in monetary terms, however made much larger
contributions in kind, taking the form of infrastructural aid, soft loans,
technical knowledge transfer, economic planning and skills involved in the
areas of steel mills, machine
building, hydro-electric power and
other heavy industries especially nuclear energy and space research. In 1961, the US pledged $1.0 billion in development
loans, in addition to $1.3 billion of free food

 Richard P.
Stebbins, The United States in World Affairs: 1961(1962) p 208




At present, India and the US share an extensive and expanding cultural,
strategic, military, and economic relationship which is in the phase of
implementing confidence
building measures (CBM) to overcome the legacy of trust deficit –
brought about by adversarial US foreign policies  and multiple
instances of technology denial  – which have plagued the relationship
over several decades. Unrealistic expectations after the conclusion of the
2008 U.S.–India
Civil Nuclear Agreement (which underestimated negative public opinion
regarding the long-term viability of nuclear power generation and civil-society
endorsement for contractual guarantees on safeguards and liability) has given
way to pragmatic realism and refocus on areas of cooperation which enjoy
favourable political and electoral consensus.

Key recent developments include the rapid growth of India’s economy,
closer ties between the Indian and American industries especially in the
Information and communications technology (ICT), engineering and medical
sectors, an informal entente to
manage an increasingly assertive China,
robust cooperation on counter-terrorism, the deterioration of U.S.-Pakistan relations,
easing of export controls over dual-use goods & technologies (99% of
licenses applied for are now approved), and reversal of long-standing American
opposition to India’s strategic program.

Income creation in the USA through knowledge-based employment by Asian
Indians has outpaced every other ethnic group according to U.S. Census data. Growing
financial and political clout of the affluent Asian Indian diaspora is noteworthy. Indian American
households are the most prosperous in the USA with a median revenue of
US$100,000, followed by Chinese Americans at US$65000. The average household
revenue in the USA is US$50000.


US and India continue to differ on issues ranging from trade to civil
liberties. The Indian Home Ministry, through an affidavit submitted to the
Delhi High Court on 13 February 2015, claimed that Country Reports on Rights
& Practices have become instruments of foreign policy: “The US, UK and
EU have clearly mentioned in government documents and pronouncements that these
reports are made for the purpose of their being used as instruments of foreign
policy.” The affidavit also claimed that the reports by US, UK and
European Parliament were biased since they “do not provide opportunity to
the Government of India or the local embassy/high commission to record their
opinion and are heavily biased against the targeted country”.


President Barack Obama became the first US
president to be the chief guest of the 66th Republic Day celebrations of India
held on 26 January 2015. India and the US held their first ever bilateral
dialogue on the UN and multilateral issues in the spirit of the “Delhi
Declaration of Friendship” that strengthens and expands the two countries’
relationship as part of the Post-2015 Development Agenda .

On June 26 Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited US and met
President Donald Trump. On 8 November 2017, US has
announced a grant of nearly USD 500,000 for organisations which can come up
with ideas and projects to promote religious freedom in India and Sri Lanka.

Lessons learnt and recommendation for

The United States is one of India’s largest direct investors.
From 1991 to 2004, the stock of FDI inflow has increased from USD $11.3 million
to $344.4 million, and totaling $4.13 billion. This is a compound rate increase
of 57.5 percent annually. Indian direct investments abroad began in 1992, and
Indian corporations and registered partnership firms are now allowed to invest
in businesses up to 100 percent of their net worth. India’s largest outgoing
investments are in the manufacturing sector, which accounts for 54.8 percent of
the country’s foreign investments. The second largest are in non-financial
services (software development), accounting for 35.4 percent of investments.

The US is India’s second largest trading partner, and India is its 11th largest trading partner. In 2015, the US exported
$21.5 billion worth of goods to India, and imported $44.8 billion worth of
Indian goods .Major items imported from India include information technology services, textiles, machinery, gems and diamonds, chemicals, iron and steel products, coffee, tea, and other edible food
products. Major American items imported by India include aircraft, fertilisers, computer
hardware, scrap metal, and medical equipment.

United States is also India’s largest investment partner, with a direct
investment of $9 billion (accounting for 9 percent of total foreign
investment). Americans have made notable foreign investments in the Asian
country’s power generation, telecommunications, ports, roads, petroleum
exploration and processing, and mining industries. American imports
from India amounted to $46.6 billion or 2% of its overall imports, and 15.3% of
India’s overall exports in 2015. American
exports to India amounted to $20.5 billion or 5.2% of India’s overall imports
in 2015.

In the past, it could be seen that
maintaining friendly relations with the USA is beneficial for any nation (and
it’s no different for india ) . With all this new strategy and plans , the
relationship between USA and India is going to be stronger than before and
alliance of the two nations can be useful for the trade and revenue between the
two nations.

In conclusion, it appears highly likely that in strategic, political,
security, defence and economic terms, relations between India and the USA will
continue their upward trajectory under President Trump. Impact of USA’s
relations with Pakistan on India is likely to be beneficial and positive. As
far as implications for India with respect to USA’s evolving relations with
China and Russia are concerned, it will be better to wait for further
denouements to unfold. Relations between these countries with the USA are
complex and multi-faceted. It is too early to speculate how they will evolve
and what ramifications they might entail for India.